Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson: "I Never Get Into Politics"

That’s what the late King of Pop told Ebony magazine back in 1992 - he just wasn’t political. Of course, by the end of his life, it wasn’t quite by choice. In 2004, for example, the Congressional Black Caucus wouldn’t even meet with him when he asked.

As USA Today reported at the time:

"They had turned down his request to attend its meeting Wednesday, saying they were too busy dealing with legislative issues affecting black Americans."

No wonder his friend, the Rev. Al Sharpton, said yesterday that many who were lionizing him in death wouldn’t even go near him for the past seven years.

But in his glory days Michael was a more visible figure, greeted by and playing for presidents. He received awards and honors from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He played the Clinton Inauguration alongside Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Stevie Nicks.

But despite a DNC fundraising concert he played in 2002 (where he helped raise $2.5 million for voter registration efforts) Jackson never did get very partisan. Of the two icons that passed away yesterday, it was Farrah Fawcett who actually contributed to a political campaign.

Of course, that didn’t stop the 24-hour “all politics all the time” news networks from covering Michael’s death as the only story last night.

What else are we looking at?

As it turns out, the Mark Sanford press conference on Wednesday had one noticeable mishap. The conservative Fox News identified him as a Democrat in their coverage. We wish we could say it was a normal error, but given their track record in journalism, it’s hard to be sure.

The conservative interest group, Club for Growth, is running a new campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA). Although they need approval from the FEC first, they’re trying to get their members to demand refunds for their Specter contributions. Specter’s GOP opponent, former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is a former president of the Club for Growth.

It’s well known that Washington DC can get way too hot during the summer, and the White House Press room can be the most heated place in the city. So White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs cooled off yesterday by allowing members of the press corps dunk him for charity.

It was all part of the White House luau yesterday, where President Obama had members of Congress over for quite the picnic.

Finally, don’t forget to take part in our survey: Who Are You Looking At in 2012! Tell us who you think will be the Republican nominee to take on Obama. Email your thoughts to It’s fast, easy, and fun - but your predictions are due Monday.

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